by  Scott Stanfield – Comox Valley Record posted Jan 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM


The Comox Valley Transition Society has opened a four-unit residence in Courtenay that is housing a number of women and children who have come from abusive situations. Three of them came directly from Lilli House, a shelter operated by the society.

“It’s been a real gift,” CVTS executive director Heather Ney said Wednesday. “The sad part is, that’s it. Now we need another four-plex — or whatever other pieces of continued housing that are absent in the Valley.”

BC Housing contributed $515,000 towards the purchase. The regional district and Comox also provided funds via a service tax administered through the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness.

Developer Peter Croonen also supported the project by selling the property, where he had planned to build a four-plex.

“There was obviously a need for it,” Croonen said.

The units are a second-stage, affordable housing project where rent is geared to tenants’ income. The society will provide supports as needed.

CVTS program co-ordinator Anne Davis said one of the tenants and her child used to attend a weekly drop-in lunch at Lilli House.

“I could see that she was really stressed and her child, who is around 10 years old, was also looking stressed,” Davis said. “I’ve seen her a number of times in the community since she moved into the four-plex.

She has a permanent smile on her face these days, and that child looks so relaxed and happy. It’s obvious this has made a profound difference in their lives.”

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae praised Ney and her team for advocating for women and children fleeing from abuse.

“I think it’s a great investment,” McRae said. “I want to say thank you to Transition Society. For 30 years, you guys have been stepping up, helping — sometimes very quietly — but also very, very importantly in our community. Today, this investment allows women and children to have one more safe step in their way to self-sufficiency, and the supports of the staff and the volunteers in this organization.”